Aegon and Cofunds – Creating the best of both
For adviser use only
2017 marks the start of a defining year. Earlier this month, Aegon announced the completion of the purchase of Cofunds following regulatory approval. The deal, central to the strategy of being an investment trading platform business serving the needs of intermediaries is something that, I believe, will be transformational for both companies.
In my view, Aegon’s significant growth in the last few years, against a backdrop of intense platform competition and regulatory change, shows the business has momentum. And speaking personally, having come from Cofunds to now being the new Managing Director of Retail, I look forward to leading the combined businesses through the years ahead.
Accelerating our platform strategy
This deal marks the start of a new era. The completion takes us a step further in our transition from traditional life company to fully-fledged platform business. Our focus now is to help intermediaries grow their business, grow their profitability and manage their risk and costs effectively. What will set us apart from the competition is our commitment not to compete with advisers for distribution, and focus on our investment trading platform and providing the best service and tools.
The Cofunds business has developed from a simple fund supermarket into a multi-channel market leader, with a scale and client book that’s the envy of all platforms. The combination of Aegon’s retirement expertise and technology alongside Cofunds’ deep knowledge and experience of platforms will position us uniquely in the market.
Listening to you – The Advisory Board
We’ve set up an Advisory Board and an Adviser panel to ensure that advisers have a voice in our planning priorities. We are acutely aware that our business success is built on supporting advisers, like yourselves. This board is part of a wider commitment to run our business based on the needs of intermediaries and advisers.
At the first Board, last month (and now, last year), Aegon outlined its intermediary focus, platform strategy and what users can expect to see in the coming months. Through a technology upgrade approach, we will take an established platform and add functionality and data to it. Essentially, this means that benefits can be brought to advisers quickly through enhanced functionality.
Benefits to advisers will include; the reduction of paper communication, additional use of straight-through processing and consistent digital log-ins to avoid accessibility problems.
The deal signing and completion only mark the starting whistle. Ahead of us are a number of challenges and opportunities. Timing wise, it’s great to be in the new role from the start and with the whole year ahead.
Going forward, there will be an intensive period where we work to integrate Aegon and Cofunds and you can be certain that our scale and single-minded strategy mean there will be an ongoing investment in the platform and the service that you rely on.
By discussing our approach and progress with intermediaries from the outset we aim to deliver a platform that you feel invested in for the benefit of both your business and your clients. While the year ahead represents a big undertaking, it also represents a wonderful opportunity to shape the future of the platform industry with the adviser community.